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Ebook A Number by Caryl Churchill read! Book Title: A Number
The author of the book: Caryl Churchill
ISBN: 1854597434
ISBN 13: 9781854597434
Language: English
Edition: Nick Hern Books
Date of issue: 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 35.28 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.9

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On a routine visit to hospital, Bernard receives some shocking news: he's been cloned. When he confronts his father, he finds out it's worse: he is just one in an unknown number of genetically identical sons. But is Bernard the original or a copy? Does it matter? And what's going to happen when two other versions come knocking at the door? "A Number" takes the ethical labyrinth of genetic engineering, and the timeless debate over nature versus nurture, and reconstitutes them as a bracing family drama. As Bernard and his "brothers" wrestle with a range of very human responses to the news - shock, anger, horror and delight - their anxious father ducks and weaves, grudgingly revealing their histories and the anguished choices he's made. The play's themes might be borrowed from science fiction and philosophy, but its scale is confronting domestic. There are no speeches, no grand pronouncements, no finely honed philosophical dialogues here. It consists almost entirely of the halting, taciturn exchanges that usually pass for conversation between men, especially fathers and sons. This makes the issues real for us. It grounds them in the eternal questions and doubts that hover over every child and every parent who wishes they could cancel their mistakes. "A Number" looks fearlessly at what is often left over when the excitement of new science fades: damaged people. In this case, they must confront not only what's been done to them, but the more terrifying issue of just what they actually are. By extension, it's something we're invited to ponder about ourselves. As one "son" reminds us: "We've got ninety-nine percent the same genes as any other person. We've got ninety percent the same genes as a chimpanzee. We've got thirty percent the same as a lettuce." So what makes me different? What is it that makes me, me? What accounts for that look in the eyes, the set of the shoulders, the scowl or the smile that allows a father to distinguish between his genetically identical sons? We can create life in a petri dish, but do we actually know what it is? It's a chilling question, and one that may well be unanswerable. But as Caryl Churchill shows in this spare, harrowing and above all humane play, those kind of questions are precisely the ones worth asking.

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Read information about the author

Ebook A Number read Online! Caryl Churchill (born 3 September 1938) is an English dramatist known for her use of non-naturalistic techniques and feminist themes, dramatisation of the abuses of power, and exploration of sexual politics.[1] She is acknowledged as a major playwright in the English language and one of world theatre's most influential writers.

Her early work developed Bertolt Brecht's modernist dramatic and theatrical techniques of 'Epic theatre' to explore issues of gender and sexuality. From A Mouthful of Birds (1986) onwards, she began to experiment with forms of dance-theatre, incorporating techniques developed from the performance tradition initiated by Antonin Artaud with his 'Theatre of Cruelty'. This move away from a clear Fabel dramaturgy towards increasingly fragmented and surrealistic narratives characterises her work as postmodernist.

Prizes and awards

Churchill has received much recognition, including the following awards:

1958 Sunday Times/National Union of Students Drama Festival Award Downstairs
1961 Richard Hillary Memorial Prize
1981 Obie Award for Playwriting, Cloud Nine
1982 Obie Award for Playwriting, Top Girls
1983 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (runner-up), Top Girls
1984 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Fen
1987 Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of the Year, Serious Money
1987 Obie Award for Best New Play, Serious Money
1987 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Serious Money
1988 Laurence Olivier/BBC Award for Best New Play, Serious Money
2001 Obie Sustained Achievement Award
2010 Inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.


Downstairs (1958)
You've No Need to be Frightened (1959?)
Having a Wonderful Time (1960)
Easy Death (1960)
The Ants, radio drama (1962)
Lovesick, radio drama (1969)
Identical Twins (1960)
Abortive, radio drama (1971)
Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen, radio drama (1971)
Owners (1972)
Schreber's Nervous Illness, radio drama (1972) – based on Memoirs of My Nervous Illness
The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution (written 1972)
The Judge's Wife, radio drama (1972)
Moving Clocks Go Slow, (1973)
Turkish Delight, television drama (1973)
Objections to Sex and Violence (1975)
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (1976) [7]
Vinegar Tom (1976)
Traps (1976)
The After-Dinner Joke, television drama (1978)
Seagulls (written 1978)
Cloud Nine (1979)
Three More Sleepless Nights (1980)
Top Girls (1982)
Crimes, television drama (1982)
Fen (1983)
Softcops (1984)
A Mouthful of Birds (1986)
A Heart's Desire (1987)[18]
Serious Money (1987)
Ice Cream (1989)
Hot Fudge (1989)
Mad Forest (1990)
Lives of the Great Poisoners (1991)
The Skriker (1994)
Blue Heart (1997)
Hotel (1997)
This is a Chair (1999)
Far Away (2000)
Thyestes (2001) – translation of Seneca's tragedy
A Number (2002)
A Dream Play (2005) – translation of August Strindberg's play
Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (2006)
Seven Jewish Children – a play for Gaza (2009)
Love and Information (2012)
Ding Dong the Wicked (2013)
Here We Go (play) (2015)


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